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Keep the window open when schooling your horse.

Driving around between lessons my car developed a really annoying squeak. At first I thought it was the car in front and then may be the car behind, but no it was my car.

Slightly concerned by what could be causing it and even more concerned about the potential cost I closed the window and put the air con on instead. Problem solved, no annoying squeak.

I then began to think that closing the window was a bit like using training gadgets to solve issues we have with our horses.

What do i mean by gadgets? Anything which forces the result to happen. This can be tight nosebands, flash nosebands, side reins, draw reins, pessoa’s and although i ride my advance horse in spurs, spurs can be added to the list when they are used in a vulgar way. Spurs should only be added to promote lightness to the leg and precision of the aids and never to kick the horse into shape!

Horse puts their tongue over the bit or becomes strong.

Common advise would be to use a special noseband and a stronger bit.

Horse doesn't stay round and on the bit….

Common advise would be to force the horse into an outline with draw reins.

Horse doesn't understand the legs and isn't forwards.

Common advise would be to ride in spurs.

Horse hollows on the lunge….

Common advise would be to fix the position in side reins, a Pessoa or any of the other add ons.

The list goes on and on!

If I took my car to see a mechanic and they told me to shut the window so I couldn't hear the squeak I certainly wouldn't be happy with this advice. I would want to be told the reason for the squeak and I would also like it fixed.

When things are added to solve schooling issues it's like closing the window on the problem. The reason/problem the horse is presenting certain behaviours are still there but we can no longer ‘hear’ it so we tell ourselves it's fixed. Horses are not machines, they are sensitive living creatures who deserve to have things we want to improve explained to them in a way they can understand.

If you pay a professional for help and their answer is to use stronger bits, flash nosebands, crank nosebands, draw reins and so on. Please do your horse a favour and find somebody who can find out the real issue for their behaviour, don't just close the window.

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